Friday, April 14, 2006

3 Features DVD Players Need

While watching way too many DVDs, a couple of ideas that would greatly improve my viewing experience have crossed my mind. HD-DVD players are the big buzz, but unless you have a 50" plasma TV with HD resolution, I don't think you are going to see much of an improvement. My suggestions on the other hand will vastly improve the viewing quality for all DVD watchers.

The first thing I wish my DVD player had was a 1.5 speed "fast forward" that would still show subtitles and voices (though obviously at a faster speed). That way you could watch a 1.5 hour movie in an hour. Perfect for people without a lot of time or patience. Or even better, if you could have a dimmer like switch, or an iPod scroll wheel like thingy, so you could change the speed from anywhere from 1.0 to 2.0. If they are talking fast in the movie, you gotta watch it at normal speed. If they are going real slow, crank it up to double speed. If you are reading a book and it gets boring, you can start reading faster or skimming it. This would give you the same ability for a movie. The Microsoft Media Player allows you to do this, giving you the ability to fast forward while still listening to the sound. The DVD players should allow it to as well.

The second thing I want is the ability to skip the copyright notices. I am so sick of being forced to watch them that I have started to buy pirated versions, just so I get a version without them. It annoys me that you can't fast forward or skip it, but what super annoys me is that you can't even pause the screen! The material is up there long enough to annoy you, but not long enough to actually read the whole thing. So, I have probably watched 200+ of them, and yet I still don't know what exactly it says.

And then to totally piss you off, sometimes they force you to view it a second time in French. Hello, I live in America. That means I don't speak French, I can't read French, I won't eat anything French (unless it is renamed with Freedom), I can't even find France on a map, and the only French thing I respect is Tony Parker, and only because he is dating Eva Longoria. So why in Gods name, can't a man living in the good old US of A have the ability to skip the French copyright notice?

The third thing I want is the ability to jump right to the main menu (the one with the play movie option) with a one button click. My remote has a button called "Menu", but the DVD makers have disabled it to force me to watch all this other crap. I don't want to watch 4 previews of lame movies, a ridiculous 30 second video clip produced by MTV that tells me that copying is stealing, a stupid animation that generates the menu screen, and I especially don't want to watch any god damn French copyright notices. It has got to the point, that after I put the DVD in the player, I go jump on the treadmill for 30 minutes and hope by the time I am done that I am finally at the menu screen and can hit the play button.

So there you have it DVD manufacturers, screw the HD-DVD players, and instead give us control over the speed of the movie, a menu button that works, and the ability to skip copyright notices.

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